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TMDLs: The Resurrection of Water Quality Standards-Based Regulation Under the Clean Water Act

July 1997

Citation: 27 ELR 10329

Issue: 7

Author: Oliver A. Houck

Editors' Summary: The Clean Water Act (CWA) has rediscovered water quality standards. More accurately, environmentalists have discovered this oldest of pollution control strategies lying dormant in the Act and have litigated it into motion. How this strategy now succeeds will have a profound impact on the future of the Act and its long march toward restoration of the nation's waters. This Article reviews the nature of water quality standards-based regulation. It also explores the evolution of CWA §303 and the positions that states, industry, and other stakeholders have taken on this method of regulation.

The author is a Professor of Law at Tulane University. The research assistance of Deborah A. Clarke, Tulane Law School '98, Danielle R. Cover, '97, and R. Brent Walton, '97 is acknowledged with gratitude.

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